A summer of firsts: Lake Tahoe Historical Society launches children’s program | TahoeDailyTribune.com

A summer of firsts: Lake Tahoe Historical Society launches children’s program

Autumn Whitney
Historical Society volunteer Anita Limbird teaches children how to make yarn dolls, like the ones shown here, Saturday mornings at the Historical Society Museum and Tuesdays and Thursdays at Tallac Historic Site.
Autumn Whitney / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

This summer marks a series of new beginnings for Lake Tahoe Historical Society. Apart from the society’s new Tahoe History Trail, volunteer Anita Limbird is heading efforts to bring children’s programs to the museum.

Currently, Limbird — a former Montessori school teacher — sits on the museum’s porch steps an hour before the building opens on Saturdays, teaching kids how to create their own yarn dolls. On Tuesdays and Thursdays she volunteers at the Tallac Historic Site in the Baldwin Home from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., running a yarn doll table and engaging children in other historic activities.

Now, on the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 17, she will launch Lake Tahoe Historical Society’s History Club, a program for school-aged children that lasts three hours and costs $20 to participate.

According to Limbird, parents often bring their children to museums, but hardly put in effort to make the experience fun.

“They just read off signs, and it’s boring to kids,” she added.

“The whole reason I’m doing this is to get [children] interested in museums while they’re young.”


Activities at Baldwin House include making yarn dolls, building with Lincoln Logs and playing common historic games, among others. While the History Club will offer some of these things, children get the additional experience of making their own games and using tools to create punch art.

Another club activity is creating butter. Children will make two versions — with and without salt — so they are able to taste both. Sewing and spool knitting will be done at the History Club as well.

“What we want to do is introduce kids to Tahoe history, and we want it to be hands-on,” historical society cabin docent Brenda Orique said.

Kids will also be able to take home things they create at the club, in order to share the experience with others.

The focus of the History Club is to entertain children without computers, teaching them how to be creative and expand on what they learn, according to Limbird — in essence, relating participants to the human part of history.

“Basically they’re learning things and skills people did a long time ago,” she explained.

History Club will likely be offered once a month, but no dates have been set beyond the first meeting Aug. 17. The club will run all year, and by next summer Limbird hopes it grows to twice a month, or once a week.

Club sign-ups will eventually be conducted online, but that portion of the Historical Society website is currently under construction. To reserve a place for Aug. 17, call the society at 530-541-5458 — there is enough space for 12 children to participate.

“When I retired I knew I wanted to do something [with historical kids programs]. I knew there was a need because there were very few things kids could do,” Limbird said.

For more information, visit the Lake Tahoe Historical Society online at http://www.laketahoemuseum.org or in person at 3058 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

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